The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Computers, Phones & Internet / Help with this STUPID computer!


Subject:  Re: How much RAM is "enough"? Date:  12/4/2012  3:17 PM
Author:  riprock45 Number:  182780 of 199556

jerryab gave you the numbers:

32-bit Windows can only address 3.3 gigs total so installing more than 4g is useless.

64-bit can use up to 192gigs. Here's a table:

If you have less memory than a program needs, it will address the paging file on your hard drive, using disk space as virtual memory. Needless to say that is a lot slower than physical memory.

So, all the way back to your question; if all you're doing is what you say you're doing then you don't need any more than 4 gigs of memory. If you have a 32-bit system, you can't use any more than 4 gigs anyway.

If you want to get into heavy gaming, Autocad, Video editing/sound processing or anything that needs to move huge amounts of data fast, then you need a 64-bit system with 64-bit programs, and all the memory you can afford. That will enable that data to move in and out of physical memory very quickly, and not go on and off your hard drive very slowly.

A caveat: you might have a 64-bit system with 32-bit programs. For instance, I have a 64-bit laptop with windows 8 on it, and an old version of Office that was designed for my old 32-bit system. That program is limited to the use of 4 gigs of ram again, no matter how much physical memory is installed in the computer.

Rip, long-winded.
Copyright 1996-2019 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us